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Another factor that comes into play is that many family run businesses are running on a very tight advertising budget. You’d think that would make them jump at the chance of free advertising, but from my own experience I know that more often than not the free press you get is so poorly done as to be positively negative. So, you get caught between the need to advertise, the inability to pay for advertisement, the desire to grab all the freebies you can and the realization that most likely you are going to get what you pay for or less. Leads to stress, tension and a suspicious attitude towards all those who say they can but in reality cannot–and the business doesn’t know it until too late.
We know you can string a word or two together, Lisa, but those you are approaching may be justifiably squiggly about the whole deal if they’ve been burned before.
Hopefully your fictional characters will be more cooperative. At least you have the option of killing them slowly and painfully if they misbehave. 🙂